Book Chapter

National Panel Studies Show Substantial Minorities Recording Long-Term Change in Life Satisfaction: Implications for Set Point Theory

Bruce Headey, Ruud Muffels, Gert G Wagner

STABILITY OF HAPPINESS: THEORIES AND EVIDENCE ON WHETHER HAPPINESS CAN CHANGE | ELSEVIER ACADEMIC PRESS INC | Published : 2014

Abstract

Set point theory can be directly tested only with panel datasets in which the life satisfaction/subjective well-being of adults has been measured repeatedly over a long period of time. Three long-running, high-quality panels are the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), and the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics Survey in Australia (HILDA). Evidence from these panels shows that substantial minorities of adults have recorded long-term change in life satisfaction. Explanations for change relate primarily to life priorities and behavioral choices, not discrete life events. Relevant life priorities are a commitment to pro-social and family values. Re..

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